Immigration to the US as a Nurse

Are you currently working and have experience as a nurse but also interested in immigrating to the United States? Well, we have great news for you! The United States is always looking for experienced healthcare workers, especially nurses in 2021.

Job Description (SOC Code 29-0000)

The job a nurse has can differ depending on what kind of nursing they intend on practicing. Nurses in the US are expected to complete duties such as assessing a patient’s health problems and needs, developing and implementing nursing care plans, and maintaining medical records. It is also common for certain nurses to be responsible for administering nursing care to ill, injured, convalescent, or disabled patients. Nurses may advise patients on health maintenance and disease prevention or provide case management. Each nurse is responsible for interacting with patients and caring for them through their physical, intellectual, and social needs in some way.

Salary Average: $71,730

There are several SOC codes referring to Nurses.

SOC 29-0000 – Healthcare Practitioners and Technical Occupations

SOC 29-1000 – Healthcare Diagnosing or Treating Practitioners

SOC 29-1140 – Registered Nurses

United States Nurse Requirements

To work in the US as a nurse, make sure you follow US federal immigration law and meet the following requirements:

  1. Meet the educational requirements
  2. Take and pass an English language proficiency test, if mandated.
  3. Obtain credential evaluation
  4. Pass your National Council Licensing Examination-Registered Nurse (NCLEX – RN)
  5. Find a nursing recruiting agency or US-based employer
  6. Apply and obtain an RN immigrant visa/green card
  7. RN visa interview and medical examination
  8. Accept an RN position

Step-by-Step Immigration to the US to Practice Nursing

  1. Hire an Immigration Lawyer – There are many documents and requirements for those looking to work and live in the United States, even more, if you are looking to practice nursing. An immigration lawyer will help you organize these documents and requirements to find you the best path for US immigration
  2. Pass NCLEX – You must pass your National Council Licensing Examination
  3. Find out which state you want to reside – When you know where in the US you’d like to work, you can apply to that state’s Board of Nursing.
  4. Find a job – You can look for a job through a nursing recruitment agency or a US-based employer.
  5. Apply for a visa – The final step is to apply for a nonimmigrant visa that will allow you to work in the US once you are accepted.

Visa Options for Foreign-Born Nurses Immigrating to the US

Since nurses are currently in high demand in the United States, there are many ways to immigrate there as a nurse. Here are some of the most popular ways you can do so:

H-1B Visa

If you are looking to work in the U.S. as a foreign nurse on a temporary basis, you will want to apply for an H-1B visa. An H-1B is a popular temporary work visa for foreign nationals who have a job offer from a U.S. employer to work in a “specialty occupation”, such as nursing.

US Green Card

Your United States employer may also sponsor you for a green card. They must first offer you a full-time, permanent nurse position. This employer must also complete a process known as “labor certification” on your behalf (PERM).

This application needs to be completed prior to travel to the United States and the visa must be obtained before immigrating legally.

TN Visa

The TN Visa is only available to Mexican and Canadian nurses. Mexican and Canadian nurses may work in the US with a special TN visa if the individual has an offer of employment, a license to practice in their home country, and pass the NCLEX and state licensure requirements.

Are You Interested in Migrating to the United States as a Nurse?

Immigrating to the US is not a completely straightforward process. The laws are somewhat complex, and for this reason, it helps to work with an immigration professional to help you.

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